Afros, Community and Acceptance at CurlFest 2019

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes

CURLFEST 2019, RANDALL’S ISLAND, NYC

“The only natural beauty festival in the world that was created by five Black women for Black women.” ~Simone Mair, co-founder of the Curly Girl Collective and CurlFest

Glistening, pride, power, natural, love. The only words needed to describe the scene at Randall’s Island in NY this past weekend. The throngs of natural hair beauties, at least 100,000, covered the green grass of Icahn Stadium for the sixth annual CurlFest 2019. The music throbbed non stop, as you heard inspirational words at the Empowerment Stage.

Hair, skincare and drink sponsors offered free braiding, entertainment and products to all the attendees. The early birds left with Creme of Nature gift bags filled to the brim and didn’t mind waiting on the long lines for product.

Mack Wilds, Yandy Smith-Harris, Tiffany M. Battle, Jacque Reid were just a few of the celebrities and influencers to grace the CurlFest Empowerment Stage.

The encore to Saturday’s festivities was the RollerFest, sponsored by Target at the LeFrak Skating Rink at Prospect Park. The venue decorated with every primary color in existence and a ball pit, showcased a throw back skate party with Top DJs on stage and in the rink.

There were smiles and laughter at every turn. A successful event indeed! Visit http://www.curlfest.com for information on their next event in Atlanta this fall.

#curlfest2019 #curlfest #curvygirlcollective

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes http://www.jovannareyes.com

Vydurya Lokesh, Celebrity MUA, Body Positive Influencer and Muse

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I met the amazing and wondrous Vydurya Lokesh at the Priscilla Ono Masterclass in NYC  this past summer.  I was the oldest woman there and realized quickly I was way out of my league in the course.  The silver lining, outside of learning that makeup application is an art, is meeting Vy.  Her aura is gentle, kind and she glows.  I mean her skin glows!  She reminded me of Lupita Nyongo, who also has luminescent skin and happens to be the direct descendant of Eve.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Vydurya has DNA from a Goddess of Light.  It’s who she is and I hope I captured it in this collection of photos.

One of the evenings after class, I invited her to have dinner and we ended up at Eataly near the World Trade Center, after visiting MAC, of course.  At dinner, she went on to tell me about her childhood and the tribulations she experienced at such an early age.  I realized that her past made her clueless on her beauty.  She was just happy to be alive and be a positive influence to everyone she meets.  The entire dinner, I kept thinking what a classic beauty she is and how I would love the opportunity to photograph her.  She was shocked and moved when I finally asked her.

Her last night in the states she spent with me in Maryland and we shot until late evening.  I am happy to share these with you and hope you can see the light that reflects from Vydurya that I noticed from the moment we met.

As she likes to say, “I am destiny’s child. “, not the singing group, but a child of faith that walks in light.

Please make sure to follow her on Instagram @VyduryaLokesh and Facebook @Artistry by Vydurya Lokesh.

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Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes:

Follow Instagram@jovannareyesphotography and @curvysta

Vintage@Intermezzo, Jacob Javits, NYC

Article/Video/Photos by Jovanna Reyes  www.jovannareyes.com

January 7th-9th, UBM Fashion introduced a second season of Vintage@Intermezzo at Jacob Javits, NYC.  Les Femmes Vintage NYC, Another Man’s Treasure and Muneca Mullins Studio were just a few of the many vintage apparel exhibitors to share their designs and curated treasures.  If vintage accessories and handbags are your vice, Bella Bag of Atlanta, GA, featured an extensive selection of “pre-loved” luxury vintage items to choose from.  Their 13-point inspection guarantees authenticity and the best quality.

Check out our video interviews with several featured vintage vendors answering the question, “Why Vintage?”.  Vintage@Intermezzo is open to the public with ticket purchase and free to exhibitors and retailers.

 

 

OWN’s Queen Sugar premiere at Urbanworld Film Festival in NYC

The Urbanworld Film Festival, held at the AMC Empire theater in Times Square, NYC, premiered the midseason of OWN’s Queen Sugar.  The red carpet featured cast members, Rutina Wesley, Kofi Siriboe, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Ava DuVernay and director Julie Dash.  The screening was followed by a Q&A. moderated by author Michaela Angela Davis.

 

Queen Sugar cast at the Urbanworld Film Festival 2017
The cast of OWN Network’s “Queen Sugar” with Director Julie Dash and Ava DuVernay.

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AVA DuVERNAY

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Urbanworld Film Festival’s Director, Gabrielle Glore and Ava DuVernay

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Director of Queen Sugar Julie Dash and Ava DuVernay

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Queen Sugar’s Ethan Hutchinson

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Michaela Angela Davis, Moderator of Queen Sugar’s midseason Premiere Q&A

More photos of the red carpet for the Urbanworld Film Festival 2017 at the AMC Empire:

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Gabby Sidibe, Director of the short film, “The Tale of Four”.

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The legendary director and producer Melvin Van Peebles in the center with producer Jerry LaMothe and the cast of BLACKOUT.  The indie film by Haitian American filmmaker Jerry LaMothe, celebrated its ten year anniversary.

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R&B singer, Melissa Morgan